Proverbs 26:4
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself.

King James Bible
Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

American Standard Version
Answer not a fool according to his folly, Lest thou also be like unto him.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou be made like him.

English Revised Version
Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

Webster's Bible Translation
Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like him.

Proverbs 26:4 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

26 A troubled fountain and a ruined spring -

     A righteous man yielding to a godless man.

For the most part, in מט one thinks of a yielding in consequence of being forced. Thus e.g., Fleischer: as a troubled ruined spring is a misfortune for the people who drink out of it, or draw from it, so is it a misfortune for the surrounding of the righteous, when he is driven from his dwelling or his possession by an unrighteous man. And it is true: the righteous can be compared to a well (מעין, well-spring, from עין, a well, as an eye of the earth, and מקור, fountain, from קוּר, R. קר, כר, to round out, to dig out), with reference to the blessing which flows from it to its surroundings (cf. Proverbs 10:11 and John 7:38). But the words "yielding to" (contrast "stood before," 2 Kings 10:4, or Joshua 7:12), in the phrase "yielding to the godless," may be understood of a spontaneous as well as of a constrained, forced, wavering and yielding, as the expression in the Psalm בּל־אמּוט [non movebor, Psalm 10:6] affirms the certainty of being neither inwardly nor outwardly ever moved or shaken. The righteous shall stand fast and strong in God without fearing the godless (Isaiah 51:12.), unmoveable and firm as a brazen wall (Jeremiah 1:17.). If, however, he is wearied with resistance, and from the fear of man, or the desire to please man, or from a false love of peace he yields before it, and so gives way - then he becomes like to a troubled fountain (רפשׂ, cogn. רמס, Ezekiel 34:18; Isaiah 41:25; Jerome: fans turbatus pede), a ruined spring; his character, hitherto pure, is now corrupted by his own guilt, and now far from being a blessing to others, his wavering is a cause of sorrow to the righteous, and an offence to the weak - he is useful no longer, but only injurious. Rightly Lagarde: "The verse, one of the most profound of the whole book, does not speak of the misfortunate, but of the fall of the righteous, whose sin compromises the holy cause which he serves, 2 Samuel 12:14." Thus also e.g., Lwenstein, with reference to the proverb Sanhedrin 92b: also in the time of danger let not a man disown his honour. Bachja, in his Ethics, referring to this figure, 26a, thinks of the possibility of restoration: the righteous wavers only for the moment, but at last he comes right (מתמוטט ועולה). But this interpretation of the figure destroys the point of the proverb.

Proverbs 26:4 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Proverbs 17:14 The beginning of strife is as when one lets out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.

Judges 12:1-6 And the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and went northward, and said to Jephthah...

2 Samuel 19:41-43 And, behold, all the men of Israel came to the king, and said to the king, Why have our brothers the men of Judah stolen you away...

1 Kings 12:14,16 And spoke to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke...

2 Kings 14:8-10 Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash, the son of Jehoahaz son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, Come...

1 Peter 2:21-23 For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps...

1 Peter 3:9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that you are thereunto called...

Jude 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses...

Cross References
Matthew 7:6
"Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.

Proverbs 23:9
Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the good sense of your words.

Proverbs 29:9
If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.

Isaiah 36:21
But they were silent and answered him not a word, for the king's command was, "Do not answer him."

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